Russia denounces Ukrainian army atrocities and biased Western war coverage at Formula Arria meeting

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At the “Arria Formula” meeting attended by representatives of all UN member states, members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Russian journalists and diplomats on Friday, May 6, presented the evidence of Ukraine’s “illegal acts” by its troops and far-right nationalist groups which they claim have obstructed evacuations. The meeting was titled “Mass systematic and serious violations of international humanitarian law, as well as other war crimes committed by Ukrainian military personnel and militia, uncovered during the ongoing special military operation of the Russian Armed Forces” .

Moscow questions biased Western media coverage

Speaking before ECOSOC, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya provided evidence of “violations of international humanitarian law” committed by Ukrainian authorities and military forces. Nebenzya also questioned Western media’s biased coverage of violations committed by Ukrainian forces, according to the concept note released by the UN Security Council.

Ukrainian authorities have long been implicated in the systematic subversion of the interests of ethnic “Russian minorities” living in Ukraine, particularly in the controversial Eastern Donbass region. Russia has repeatedly accused the kyiv government of committing “genocide” against the Russian-speaking population, diplomats in Moscow have said.

“The purpose of this operation [invasion of Ukraine] is to protect people who, for eight years now, have faced the humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the kyiv regime,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nebenzya asked his foreign counterparts to pay attention to the fact that it was the Ukrainian army that repeatedly deployed heavy weapons in residential areas, and used civilians as human shields, such as at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

“We have enough reason to believe that all of these principles are systematically violated by the Ukrainian military and paramilitaries. There are many eyewitness accounts of how the Ukrainian military uses civilians as hostages and as human shields” , he said at the meeting.

Russia pointed out that the Ukrainian army used “tactics” of creating firing positions inside apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure. “Military tanks and other armored vehicles are placed on the ground floor, and snipers, portable missiles and heavy weapons parked on the roof, and civilians literally sandwiched between them,” he said. said Nebenzya.

Russian diplomats have reiterated Putin’s allegations that the Ukrainian military, which Moscow officials call “neo-Nazis”, is targeting – and killing – Russian speakers and ethnic minorities in eastern Ukraine, who constitute a predominantly Russian-speaking population. Russian-backed rebel separatists have been fighting against the Ukrainian government since 2014 in the industrial heartland since the annexation of Crimea.

Moscow has shifted the focus of its war to eastern Ukraine, to the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk that Putin had previously declared “independent”. Russian diplomats have accused Ukrainian nationalist fighters of committing atrocities against small states created by Moscow-backed proxies. Besides Donbass, the Russian military operation is focused on capturing the southern Kherson region, northern and western Crimea and part of Zaporizhzhia.

Far-right Ukrainian nationalists ‘neo-Nazis’ from the Azov Battalion ‘violate international human rights law’: Russia

Russian diplomats on Friday accused Ukrainian militias and far-right neo-Nazi nationalists from the Azov Battalion of “violating international human rights law”, adding that Western countries and international mechanisms such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Monitoring Mission “deliberately ignores these violations”. Moscow also launched an attack on Ukraine’s treatment of its prisoners of war [POWs] at yesterday’s meeting, which follows the April 27 Arria Formula meeting on “Ensuring Accountability for Atrocities in Ukraine”, hosted by Albania and France. At this meeting, the rapporteurs described Russian war crimes in the occupied areas of northern Ukraine, including Bucha, Irpin and Motyzhyn.

File photo from October 17, 2014. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, as they meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center back to the camera, and French President Francois Hollande, center facing the camera, in Milan, Italy. Ukraine discusses a conflict with Russia, its ambition to join the EU and NATO indefinitely stalled. Credit: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets local residents and war veterans at the historic Malakhov Kurgan (Malakoff Redoubt) memorial in Sevastopol, Crimea. Credit: AP

Russian soldiers have been accused of indiscriminately killing and torturing Ukrainian civilians, targeting civilian infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, committing sexual and gender-based violence, deporting civilians, including unaccompanied children to Moscow, and of unlawfully detaining local government officials and journalists in various parts of the country. Ukraine. Council members demanded “accountability” and called on all parties to cooperate with the ICC and other national and international investigations into alleged war crimes. Moscow, however, has dismissed these allegations of atrocities committed by its troops in Ukraine.

At the 44th session of the General Assembly’s Committee on Information, Russia said it was the target of a massive “anti-Russian” disinformation campaign, Russophobia and biased media coverage. Russian diplomats blasted the UN, saying the international agency was “itself complicit and compromised”.

“UN structures and agencies as well as officials of the UN Secretariat, according to her, rely on false data obtained from unreliable, often discredited sources or biased NGOs in their reports,” said Russian diplomats.

Other member states have criticized Russia for its media censorship and weaponization of disinformation to justify its invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has muzzled dissent at home, shut down independent media, and blocked access to social media and independent information about the war in Ukraine,” the United States said.

“We collectively condemn Russia’s invasion and continued aggression against Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation. The actions of the Russian Federation violate international law and the joint commitments of the UN, OSCE, ItACHR and ACHR and the very principles on which our organizations are based,” the Kingdom said. United at the meeting.

Britain has told Russians that propaganda for war and national hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is deeply harmful and prohibited under Article 20 of the International Covenant. to civil and political rights. “We call on the Russian Federation to immediately refrain from these illegal practices,” the British diplomats said.

Representatives and rapporteurs on freedom of expression from various international organizations, including the UN, the African Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the OSCE, have also expressed their concerns. regarding Russia’s disinformation in a joint statement after the meeting. Journalists and media workers in Ukraine “are being targeted, tortured, abducted, attacked and killed, or denied safe passage from besieged towns and regions” and have expressed concern for the safety of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in Ukraine, who are “at very high risk”, they repeated.

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